By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
The Hess Express/Zephyrhills Beach Volleyball Tournament
at Coquina Beach saw a large increase in the number
of teams competing this year over last year. According
to Linda Meyer, comptroller for Exclusive Sports Marketing,
the company that promotes the tournament. Meyer said
they had 152 teams of two people this year compared
to 104 last year.
Meyer said the weather helped draw a larger crowd
this year. Stormy weather caused problems on the second
day of the tournament last year. She said this year
they had a scare on Sunday as well, but the day started
out with sunny skies.
The winds kicked up Sunday and it looked like
it was going to storm, but it didnt, she
said. The lifeguards did a great job of keeping
an eye on the storm. We stayed dry, but the winds
blew in the red tide.
The tournament saw more participation by younger players
this year, according to Florida Gulf Coast Sports
Commission founder Joe Pickett. The commission helped
get the tournament to stop in Manatee County four
years ago and it has returned every summer since then.
SUN PHOTOS/TOM VAUGHT
Sunny skies made for a great day for volleyball Saturday.